Friendless Peter Klaven goes on a series of man-dates to find a Best Man for his wedding. But when his insta-bond with his new B.F.F. puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancée, can the trio learn to live happily ever after?
John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of committed womanizers who sneak into weddings to take advantage of the romantic tinge in the air, find themselves at odds with one another when John meets and falls for Claire Cleary.
When Alison Scott is promoted in E! Television, she goes to a night-club to celebrate with her older married sister Debbie. Alison meets the pothead reckless Ben Stone and while having a small talk with Ben, Debbie's husband Pete calls her to tell that their daughter has chicken pox. Debbie leaves the place but Allison stays with Ben, drinking and dancing along all night; completely wasted, they end up having a one night stand. Ben does not use condom and eight weeks later, Allison discovers that she is pregnant. She calls Ben and they decide to try to stay together and have the baby. However, Ben needs to grow-up first to raise a family of his own. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One big, laundry list of ethics-questions with enormous sprinklings of humor
Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is the definition of a guy who "means well," but is also the definition of a total geek. He's sweet and sincere, but hopelessly unromantic in his many episodes of pot-smoking, dirty jokes, and vulgarity. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is an employee for the E! TV network, who is extremely career-minded, especially after she finally gets the job interviewing celebrities on air. Only at a club after too many drinks would these people ever meet and have sex, and fate says that they do, and fate includes that they wake up the next morning with almost no memory of what happened the night before.
Ben and Alison proceed to get breakfast, before hesitantly exchanging numbers and going about their ways. Ben clearly wants Alison to like him, but she seems passively repulsed by, what she sees, as vacuous immaturity. Regardless, eight weeks later, Alison begins throwing up at work, unpredictably, and rushes home to take a pregnancy test. Well, dozens of pregnancy tests, aided by her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and her husband Pete (Paul Rudd). She is in fact pregnant and then tracks down Ben through his homemade, film-nudity-tracking website to inform of this occurrence. Now, both lives are enormously affected by one small mistake and the two of them must try and survive the labors (no pun intended) of pregnancy and the stress that comes with it.
This doesn't sound like the makings of a four-star comedy, but I assure you, reader, it is. Judd Apatow's Knocked Up is one of the most fun comedies I've seen in a while, perfectly amplifying, while simultaneously furthering the genre of raunch-with-heart. This isn't the nihilistic, hopelessly cynical comedy one would anticipate, but rather a sweet comedy, with strong sprinklings of raunchiness, all encapsulated with a shell of poignancy and life-revelations.
Only in a great comedy are the supporting characters just as good as the lead characters and there are a plethora of talents in Knocked Up. From Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr all doing a terrific job at playing Ben's sardonic best friends, there are Debbie and Paul, the only real married couple in the film. Debbie and Paul - who got their own feature film five years after Knocked Up - deal with marital issues that are likely normative in the married life of couples today. Debbie believes in a very controlled, disciplined way of governing her husband and their two children, while Paul believes in a more relaxed, laidback way of parenting. This causes, as expected, an uproar in their marriage, and also causes a pleasant ethics debate for the audience. Is Debbie's disciplining helping or hurting the family? Is Pete in the right position to be sort of "taking nights off from the family?" Come to think of it, Knocked Up, as a whole, is one big ethics question. A "what would you do?" question appears every few minutes for the audience to answer, and thankfully, the presence of the questions doesn't overshadow the humor or vice-versa. Aside from being just another comedy that provides roughly two hours of pleasant escapism, Knocked Up, in retrospect, provides roughly two hours of marital questions and situations, while combining in the humor to seem more like a presentable package.
The winning ingredient for Knocked Up is definitely its heart and its smart focus on the poignancy of pregnancy, especially that of a one-night stand. While this in particular is a rare case, it is nonetheless a realistic one, provided by strong instances of comedy and, yet, strong instances of sadness and sorrow. The scene when Ben and Alison find out their reckless night of debauchery results in a pregnancy is downright soul-crushing, even though you know it's coming. In the blink of an eye, both lives are changed and they're changed so much that the only response is to cry.
And yet, there are scenes of pure hilarity and fun. Take for example the scene when Alison first meets Ben's goofball friends, or when an unexpected earthquake hits, or even the subplot involving a bet that Martin Starr's character can't shave his beard for the entire year. While Knocked Up tackles some brutally honest notions and occurrences in the lives of pregnant couples and married people, it nevertheless shows the fun side of life. What some of this all boils down to is nerds having fun being nerds.
Knocked Up is more-or-less a roller-coaster, as the real world often is. There are ups, there are downs, there is unconditional happiness, there is unconditional sadness. The humanity the film evokes is nearly nonexistent in the mainstream comedies today, but writer/director/co-producer Apatow knows married life, knows the quirks and hilarity in certain situations, and also knows the time when to be downright realistic and, well, sad. His material from this point looked as if he could only evolve and he certainly did. He is one of the strongest comedy-writers and directors working today.
Starring: Seth Rogen. Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr. Directed by: Judd Apatow.
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